Young County Elections Administrator Lauren Sullivan has been shaking things up since being hired in 2013, and is so far showing no sign of slowing down.
This Monday morning, Sullivan proposed before the county commissioners court a complete hardware/software upgrade from the election equipment Young County has used since 2005. After a buyback feature offered by Hart InterCivic in which Hart would purchase the county’s old election equipment for about $25,000, the package totaled roughly $320,000 for the county. If approved, the package could be purchased through five annual payments of about $78,000.
Initially, though not rejecting the proposal, Commissioners Mike Sipes and Matt Pruitt said that the price tag represented “a scary figure” in consideration of cost to the county. Sullivan told the court that the county’s current equipment was used when it was purchased nine years ago, and the upgrade would allow for a range of new possibilities for future elections.
“Verity (the system package offered by Hart) is one of the most interchangeable systems I’ve seen,” Sullivan said, adding that the new equipment would be much less bulky, more voter friendly and more user friendly in terms of election administration.
Sullivan also explained to the court that her office would need less equipment for future elections if Young County started implementing what are known as “super-precincts.”
“Super-precincts aren’t initiated by the purchase of this equipment,” she explained. “However, if we do move to super-precincts, that will cut down on some of the equipment needed and, therefore, cost. The application process is something I have not pursued at this point, but would like to begin working on in the next year or so.”
According to Sullivan, the opportunity for super-precincts is there for any county after an application and approval process through the Secretary of State’s office.
Read the entire story in Wednesday's Graham Leader.